Gillian Turnbull

Gillian Turnbull

Director of Writing & Publishing

Gillian Turnbull Gillian Turnbull

BA (Hons) (U. Calgary); MA (U. Alberta); MFA (Vind); PhD (York U.)

Gillian is the author of Sonic Booms: Making Music in an Oil Town. She holds a PhD in Ethnomusicology from York University and an MFA in Creative Nonfiction from the University of King’s College. She has taught pop music and culture courses at Toronto Metropolitan University, and was a faculty mentor in the Creative Nonfiction MFA program at King’s College. In 2021, Gillian co-founded the writing collective Penizen, whose anthology Bad Artist is forthcoming.

She is a writer and editor and has worked in the music and broadcast industries. A contributor to Chatelaine, Maisonneuve, The Walrus, The National Post, and HazlittGillian has also written for The Puritan, The Conversation, Atlantic Books Today and No DepressionGillian is also the former editor of Canadian Folk Music and former editorial assistant for MUSICultures, and has served on multiple music industry and academic society boards.

Gillian is a Canada Council Award and Chalmers Development Grant recipient. Her music industry work includes venue programming, music criticism and festival work. She is the co-founder of the popular Wide Cut Weekend roots music festival in Calgary.

Selected Publications 


  • Sonic Booms: Making Music in an Oil Town, Eternal Cavalier Press, 2019
  • Bad Artist: Essays on Unconventional Creativity, Co-edited with Nellwyn Lampert, Pamela Oakley and Christian Smith (forthcoming)



Music and pop culture, biography, women in pop music, labour, class, debt, urban geography, women’s health, intersections of fiction and nonfiction, experimental forms